Pinehurst News

The Road to the LPGA Tour now goes through Pinehurst

LPGA announces the first edition of the revamped LPGA Qualifying Tournament will take place at Pinehurst Resort from Oct. 22-Nov. 3, 2018

It’s an exciting day at Pinehurst.

The LPGA today announced that the final edition of the revamped LPGA Qualifying Tournament will take place at Pinehurst Resort from Oct. 22-Nov. 3, 2018.

Instead of 90 holes like the old Final Stage, the new Q-Series will be 144 holes. Players will compete in two, four-day tournaments with cumulative scores over the eight rounds for a $150,000 purse.

The LPGA will debut the new Q-Series at Pinehurst, which has hosted several prestigious tournaments including the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open.

Pinehurst No. 7 16th Hole

16th Hole, Pinehurst No. 7

The first week of the LPGA Q-Series presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina will be played on the George- and Tom Fazio-designed Pinehurst Course No. 6 from Oct. 24-27, while the Q-Series will conclude on the Rees Jones-designed Pinehurst Course No. 7 from Oct. 31- Nov. 3, 2018.

At minimum, the top 45 finishers and ties from Q-Series will receive LPGA membership, with the rest earning Symetra Tour membership. For a comparison, at the 2017 Final Stage only 20 players earned their LPGA cards.

The Q Series at Pinehurst continues a long history of women’s golf here.

When you walk into the Pinehurst clubhouse and see the vintage photographs on our walls, a timeline emerges. You see an image of Donald Ross in 1901 just after he arrived in Pinehurst, closely followed by 1920s-era postcards extolling the virtues of Pinehurst. Mixed in are images of Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen at the 1936 PGA Championship, and in a few steps more you see Ben Hogan and Sam Snead at the North & South Open.

Eventually, you pass through the black and white photographs of the 1951 Ryder Cup, of Arnold Palmer’s annual visits to compete in the North & South Amateur and a youthful Jack Nicklaus accepting the trophy for winning at Pinehurst, just months before he burst onto the scene when he won the 1959 U.S. Amateur. The photos, though, soon change to color – images of Payne Stewart’s triumph in 1999, and the U.S. Opens in 2005 and 2014.


There you can see Michelle Wie raising her arms after winning the U.S. Women’s Open, large photos nestled next to ones of Lexi Thompson and Juli Inkster, and of then 11-year-old Lucy Li.

We’re proud at Pinehurst to have such a rich history, one in which photos from over a century ago remain as relevant as the ones from major championships just a few years back.

But at the heart of our hallway rests, right in the center, the wall commemorating the North & South Amateur, which is the longest consecutively-running amateur championship in the United States. Every year since 1903, Pinehurst has been home to one of the most prestigious women’s golf championships in history.

Babe Zaharias won the Women’s North & South Amateur in 1947.

The names on that wall include some of the most important women in the history of the women’s game, including members of the 13 Founders of the LPGA Tour. Opal Hill won the North & South Amateur in 1928. Louise Suggs won three times, and in one three-year stretch, from 1946-1948, the champions hailing from Pinehurst were Suggs, Peggy Kirk Bell and Babe Zaharias.

But like the photos in our hall, the Women’s North & South has stood the test of time. In the 15 championships since 2003, 10 Women’s North & South Amateur champions have gone on to play on the LPGA Tour. They’ve combined for 21 wins, eight major championships and more than $32 million in career earnings – and those numbers don’t include the great career of Laura Diaz, who, as the 1995 North & South Champion, we’re so happy to welcome back to Pinehurst today.

Danielle Kang won the 2011 Women’s North & South Amateur, and won her first LPGA major championship last year.

Pinehurst No. 2 receives so much praise and attention of the golf world. But we’re proud of all nine courses at Pinehurst, each of which tests the games of the best players in the world. Pinehurst No. 6 and No. 7 are two of our finest courses, featuring some of the most dramatic shotmaking needed to succeed at Pinehurst. Some have called No. 7 our toughest course, and that includes No. 2. Maybe that’s why No. 7 is the only course here where Tiger Woods has won, back when he was a 17-year-old junior golfer at the “Big I” national tournament in 1992.

We’re fortunate every summer to watch the future stars of the LPGA Tour come through Pinehurst, to watch them compete on our courses, knowing that in just a few years, we will likely be seeing their names again on leaderboards at LPGA Tour events and major championships. To have the opportunity this year to see so many women’s dreams of playing on the LPGA Tour come to fruition only hours after completing their rounds on our courses is a tremendous honor, and one we’ll never forget.

We look forward to seeing those moments happen in real time – and in pictures, too.

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Golf Channel to broadcast LIVE from The Cradle on Wednesday

We are excited to announce that the Golf Channel’s popular show Morning Drive will broadcast live from The Cradle at Pinehurst on Wednesday. From 7-9 a.m., Morning Drive will provide live look-ins at a round played by the Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella, John Cook and Alexandra O’Laughlin, who will be joined by Cradle designer Gil Hanse.

The Golf Channel will feature bonus coverage from Pinehurst on its social media platforms as well.

Nearly 120 years after golf arrived here, we present The Cradle, a nine-hole short course that even the newest to the game can enjoy. The Golf Channel already calls The Cradle, “the most fun 10 acres in all of golf.” Mere steps from the Resort Clubhouse, it is the same area where, in 1898, Dr. Leroy Culver carved our first nine holes out of the sand. Over the next century, Pinehurst came to be referred to as the Cradle of American Golf.

Greens fees for The Cradle are $50 this fall and replay rounds are free. Rates will vary seasonally. Guests are welcome to play the course more than one time in a day.

Kids 17 and under play free when accompanied by a paying adult, and resort guests may book tee times in advance. Public tee times are available 24 hours in advance. Replays will be booked at the conclusion of each round.

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For one family, every day at Pinehurst is Father’s Day

The moment Brian Cook knew something special was happening before his eyes.

By Alex Podlogar

THE LITTLE GIRL WANDERED THROUGH THE HALLWAY. Many of the photographs on the walls were of grownups, people she didn’t know, and were in black and white. But her dad seemed interested, so she looked around, too.

Then she came to a glass case. A nice-looking man was cradling a trophy, a bright smile creasing his lips. There was a lot of other stuff in the case, including a golf bag much, much bigger than hers. Something about this spot made her stop.


Her dad saw her stop. And he quickly grabbed his phone. This photo would be color, but it too captured a moment in time.

Mimi Cook liked golf already. But Brian Cook saw something else. Brian saw that his daughter Mimi was beginning to like Pinehurst as well.


BRIAN IS A GOOD GOLFER. He’s been known to break 80 on a quiet, solitary walk around Pinehurst No. 2 with just a single caddie and the sunrise. But it’s not the golf itself that draws Brian to Pinehurst. It’s more than that.

What that is, specifically, can be hard to place sometimes. But it’s in the Village Chapel chimes and the slow drive to The Carolina Hotel. It’s in the rocking chair on the veranda and the cocktail before dinner.

It’s in the Cook family. This is where Brian proposed.

He had left the ring in the 18th hole of No. 2. The bended knee, smiles and tears came in quick succession.


Mimi Cook revisits Payne.

LIKE ANY DAD, BRIAN HOPED HIS CHILDREN would play golf. His dad handed the game down to him. Golf always made conversations and feelings and hopes easier to come by.

Mimi got hooked early, and soon, too, did her younger sister Reese. They play as a family, just as Brian hoped they would. They even tagged along with Brian and the caddie at sunrise.

For the girls, it’s not just the golf at Pinehurst, either. There are the pools, the rides at the 4th of July festival and the Easter Egg hunt. It’s the nachos and the Putter Boy Pasta at the Ryder Cup Lounge and the milkshakes at the Deuce.

But, make no mistake, it’s the golf, too.


Mimi Cook and her dad Brian at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open.

BRIAN BROUGHT MIMI TO THE U.S. WOMEN’S OPEN on No. 2 in 2014. He had taken her to the LPGA Tour’s event in Williamsburg, but this was different. This was bigger in every way. The grandstands. The people. The championship.

It was also Pinehurst, and Mimi knows Pinehurst.

In 2014, phones and cameras weren’t allowed in the gallery. But Brian knew a media guy, and asked if a picture were possible. There, in the glaring June sun with the 18th hole and Pinehurst’s clubhouse in the background, Mimi squints a smile next to her dad.

Father’s Day was just four days before.


Mimi and Reese Cook at The Cradle at Pinehurst in March 2018.

MIMI KEEPS GETTING BETTER AT THE GAME. So does Reese. Mimi went to a sleepover golf camp at Penn State last summer and ate it up. She can play.

She can also compete. It’s nearing Spring, and the Cooks find their way back to Pinehurst again. This time, they tee it up on The Cradle, the new short course.

And then, magic.

On the 57-yard 3rd hole, nicknamed the Punchbowl, Mimi knocks it stiff. She buries the 3-footer for birdie, her dad can only muster par, and her day is made.

“I beat him on one hole,” Mimi beams proudly.

Her dad just laughs.

Every day at Pinehurst is Father’s Day for Brian Cook.

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Watch Tiger Woods’ Opening Tee Shot at the 2018 Masters

Tiger’s first shot in a major championship since August 2015…is left:

Of course, that’s nothing new at Augusta.

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Watch Jack Nicklaus’ grandson hit a hole-in-one at The Masters

Oh, the beauty of short courses. Masters Magic, from the Par-3 Contest:

The apple doesn’t fall far… Meet GT Nicklaus.

Oh, and TOM WATSON might win after shooting 6-under.

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